After Blaming Sachin Pilot for His Son's Defeat, Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot Offers Clarification
Later in the day, Gehlot attended an iftar hosted by Pilot at the headquarters of the party's state unit in Jaipur.
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot with Rajasthan Pradesh Congress Committee president and Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot during an Iftar party, in Jaipur, Tuesday, June 4, 2019 (PTI)
New Delhi: Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot on Tuesday provided a clarification for his earlier remarks blaming his deputy and Rajasthan Congress chief Sachin Pilot for the defeat of his son, Vaibhav Gehlot, from Jodhpur constituency in the Lok Sabha elections.
The chief minister took to Twitter to issue the clarification and said that his statement had been taken out of context.
The Rajasthan chief minister, in an interview to ABP News, had reportedly said, "Pilot had said that Vaibhav would win by a huge margin because we have six MLAs (in Jodhpur) and that good campaigning was done in the area. Given the reasons, I think that he should take responsibility for Vaibhav's defeat. There will be a post-mortem of the party's defeat in Jodhpur seat to find out why we could not win."
Jodhpur has been Ashok Gehlot's stronghold for several years and he was elected five times from the Lok Sabha seat. He had reportedly taken part in over 130 rallies and road shows, 93 of them in Jodhpur alone. His son, however, lost to the BJP, which took 24 of the 25 seats in the state, with one seat going to its ally. In his maiden election, Vaibhav Gehlot lost to Union minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat by a margin of 2,74,440 votes.
Attaching a clip from the interview, Gehlot later tweeted, "This was a reply to some questions during the interview... some sections of the media are making an unnecessary issue out of the context."
This was reply to some questions during interview…Some sections of the media are making unnecessary issue out of the context. pic.twitter.com/oLk9mQEwiN— Ashok Gehlot (@ashokgehlot51) June 4, 2019
After the poll debacle, Congress president Rahul Gandhi had also reportedly criticised Gehlot for putting his son above the party.
Later on Tuesday, Gehlot attended an iftar party hosted by Pilot at the headquarters of the Congress's state unit in Jaipur.
Before the iftar began, Pilot spent some time with Gehlot and ministers Raghu Sharma, Govind Singh Dotasara, Pratap Singh besides other leaders in his chamber at the party office.
Both Gehlot and Pilot sat together with other leaders at the iftar attended by a large number of people from the Muslim community, MLAs and the party's office-bearers and members.
Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala rejected the "misleading news of any differences between Sachin Pilot and Ashok Gehlot".
"The chief minister, in an interview, categorically said that the responsibility of the loss in Rajasthan is both of the organisation and of the government," he said.
Rifts in the Rajasthan Congress resurfaced after two party leaders also criticised Gehlot for his earlier remarks.
"The statement by the chief minister is totally wrong and against the interest of the party. He himself should take responsibility for the Jodhpur seat," Congress MLA Prithviraj Meena said.
Rajendra Chaudhary, a Congress leader from Jodhpur, said Gehlot's word was final in decisions regarding the constituency.
"The statement is surprising. Gehlot should take the responsibility for the Jodhpur seat because it has been his domain for 40 years," he said. "He should take the responsibility as he was made the chief minister to ensure the Congress party's win in Rajasthan."
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